Caribbean Carnival: Songs of the West Indies

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9780688107796: Caribbean Carnival: Songs of the West Indies

A collection of calypso, a uniquely West Indian musical expression.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 1 Up-- Thirteen popular calypso songs are featured in this colorful collection. Traditional chants and ballads from Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and elsewhere as well as Burgie's original compositions, which were popularized by singer Harry Belafonte, appear. Such selections as ``Day-O,'' ``Michael Row the Boat,'' ``Yellow Bird,'' and ``Que bonita bandera'' are included. The lyrics of the latter have been translated into English at the bottom of the page. Accompanying the arrangements are full- or double-page paintings and a title bar in Lessac's characteristic, primitive style. Her bright colors and lively scenes will attract young readers to the work, and she does a good job of showing the multiethnic heritage--African, Indian, European--of the residents of the region. An informative afterword by Rosa Guy, which is written for adults but may be read and understood by older children, traces the origins of the songs in African tradition and in the experience of African-descended peoples in the West Indies. Along with Lulu Delacre's Arroz con leche (1989), Las Navidades (1990, both Scholastic), and others, this book is a valuable addition to collections of music from the Americas. --Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Siena College Library, Loudonville, NY
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Even the art has rhythm in this splendid book of calypso songs. Burgie, who wrote music and lyrics for such seemingly ageless songs as "Day-O" ("Daylight come and me wan' go home") and "Jamaica Farewell" ("Down the way, where the nights are gay . . . "), shares four of his liveliest works as well as his piano and guitar arrangements for nine Caribbean folksongs. Lessac ( Caribbean Canvas ; My Little Island ) captures the infectious beat in dynamic gouache paintings that demonstrate both a dramatic color sense and a fondness for pattern--everything in her primitive-style pictures appears to be dancing. In the varied layout, each title is set against eyecatching horizontal borders that echo the song's themes. Sultry tropical light bathes this book; it's both exotic and refreshing. A helpful afterword by Rosa Guy outlines a history of calypso music. Ages 6-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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